How to brainstorm and write an excellent college essay in a crunch!

Did you know, on average, an admissions officer may spend 4-7 minutes reading your kid’s application the first time through?

Writing a college essay is hard. Very few students go into the writing process “pumped” to sit in front of a computer to tell a story. It's part laborious, oftentimes frustrating and occasionally embarrassing. The most common thing I hear is “I don't know what to write!” and then it becomes my job to help the student to brainstorm and believe in the idea that we have thought of together. 

Know what's far easier? Documenting life. Instead of trying to devise some cleverly creative epiphany that they think will change the landscape of college...

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Mom and Dad, Remember That Your High School Senior Still Needs You

 

College application requirements have changed a lot since you applied to college. Even more so since Covid. Gather accurate information and cross reference it with what your child knows.

You must partner with your teen during this process!

Also do these three things immediately, if you haven't already………

 

#1 : Talk about money.


College is expensive. Be honest with your Senior about how much you have and/or willing to spend. Help your student to investigate need-based aid and merit scholarships.


 

#2: Anticipate the emotional roller coaster.


What you may want for your child may not be what they want for themself. If your child is not developmentally...

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2 Big Myths About Being A Recruited Athlete

Myth: Athletic scholarships are full rides offered in the senior year of high school.

Not true. In fact, most athletic scholarships are partial (or equivalency) scholarships, as each team’s coach has a limited number of scholarships to offer each entering class. Other than football and basketball—the biggest athletic money generators for most institutions—only Division I tennis, gymnastics, and volleyball can offer full-ride scholarships for athletics. In recruiting athletes, a college coach can make a verbal offer as early as middle school, but it usually happens during freshman, sophomore, or junior year of high school, depending on the sport and...

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College Interview Tips to Share With Your High School Senior

Below are a few questions that your teen can ask and questions they can be expected to be asked during their college interview. Give this to them!

QUESTIONS WORTH ASKING IN AN INTERVIEW

  • What is the average class-size (especially in my field of study?) And how does it change from freshman to upper-class years?

  • What are the internship opportunities?

  • What happens here on weekends?

  • How about current campus issues?

  • What do students like best about this school?

  • What do they complain about?

  • What kind of student is most successful here? What kind is not?

SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  • How did you learn about ____________ college?

  • What are you looking for in a college and/or what brings...

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Does My Teenager Need a Resume?

 

The short answer is yes. Colleges want to know what your child does beyond the classroom. Since the transcript tells them what the grades are -- what happens in the classroom -- the next question is “how else do they spend their time.”

Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application -- the two primary ways students apply to college online -- have dedicated places for students to list their extracurricular activities. While this is the preferred and required place for students to list their athletics, arts, community service, religious or summer activities, many colleges also offer the opportunity to upload a Word or PDF resume. I suggest that your child do this even...

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Fall Timeline for High School Students and Parents : Grades 9-12

Fall Timeline for High School Students and Parents : Grades 9-12 

12th

Please review this with your child and adjust it appropriately for their learning style.

  • The Common Application “rolls over” and can be submitted as early as August 1.

  • Start the Coalition Application, if necessary.

  • Revise personal statement and supplemental essays.

  • Register for interviews, if applicable.

  • Ask summer employers or mentors for an additional recommendation, if applicable.

  • Continue with standardized test prep, if necessary.

  • Take standardized test, if applicable.

Parents

  • Review (but do not revise) your student’s essay(s) and share feedback.



11th

Please review this with your...

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Parents and high school students always ask us how important are the ACTs and SATs?

My answer....VERY!!!! Colleges rarely admit this in public. That's not to say that a super high score is necessary, but it's more than likely that your child will need to take it. Your son or daughter should be willing to give up a few Saturday mornings as a small sacrifice to make their future great. 

How many times should he/she take the test?
The standard answer is at least twice. 

When should they start taking the tests?
Increasingly, I am recommending that students take a diagnostic ACT and SAT at the end of sophomore year (June) or at the beginning of junior year (August). 

What score should my kid aim for?
Your child needs to do the best they can do. They need to prepare with...

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3 Important Actions Every High School Senior Must Take Now

The key to college interviews is preparation. There are two types generally -- an on-campus interview or one with an alumnus in your local area. It is always important that your child share their best self, ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns about the step in their educational journey. 

Senior year is here! Now is the time to applaud your kid’s junior year efforts and really start to engage them on their college list, essays and application strategies.

Ok, but how?

By now, they should have started their Common Application, right?!!! No? Please have them start now. https://www.commonapp.org/ It’s nice to get a jump on this and not wait until school starts when life...

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How Your Teen Can Shine in a College Interview

The key to college interviews is preparation. There are two types generally -- an on-campus interview or one with an alumnus in your local area. It is always important that your child share their best self, ask questions and share their thoughts and concerns about the step in their educational journey. 

College interviews can be very nerve-wracking. Many students assume that a decision will be made based upon what happens in this one-on-one session. In truth, unless a student totally blows it -- like slapping the interviewer or using profane language in describing a school they love -- interviews are much more information-gathering opportunities. Yes, colleges may be interviewing, but are also...

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3 Tips to Get Your Teen Going with Their College Applications

If your kid is self-motivated and reading all the instructions on how to complete their applications and essays, consider yourself blessed. It takes mental strength and stamina to decipher all that needs to be done for the college process and execute it at a high level. For the rest of us, we need help. Tips to figure out how best to help our kids to help themselves.

Here are three to start. 

 

#1: Carve out time for them

Discuss exactly when they’re going to work on their applications and essays and make it non-negotiable. I think an hour or two three days a week during the month of August is solid. 

 

#2: Help them with their Common Application

Actually sit down and...

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